Home detention has been rejected for a Northlander who
seriously assaulted his partner and locked her in a shipping
container during their short but turbulent relationship.
The man, who cannot be named as the victim has permanent name
suppression, was sentenced by Justice Mark Woolford in the
High Court at Whangarei to three and a-half years in prison
after being found guilty of eight charges by a jury in
They include four charges of assault with intent to injure,
two of kidnapping, one of injuring with intent to cause
grievous bodily harm, and another of injuring with intent to
The judge acknowledged letters of support for the man from
his parents - who were in court during sentencing - and the
community, urging a non-custodial sentence, but said the
offences were too serious to attract home detention.
The victim, he said, endured severe and repeated beatings and
mental abuse by her partner, whose actions were a direct
result of his heavy methamphetamine use.
On one occasion, the judge said, the man locked her up for a
few minutes in a shipping container, where she felt
suffocated. The victim was undergoing counselling. The father
of three continued to deny his offending and had been
assessed as at a medium risk of re-offending.
Crown solicitor Mike Smith said aggravating features were the
repeated nature of his re-offending, the length of time and
the level of violence involved.
Mr Smith urged the court to take limited consideration to the
time the man spent on bail during sentencing.
Defence lawyer Chris Muston said the time spent on bail since
February this year should be factored in, and submitted that
the offending occurred in the context of a domestic,
Justice Woolford agreed to the Crown's application for a
protection order against the victim. After sentencing, he
urged the man's father to support him after his release from
prison. He will be eligible for parole in about 15 months.
- Imran Ali of The Northern Advocate